The school closed for the long summer vacation and I got ready to go to Shimla to meet my uncle. My younger brother and sister accompanied me. We proposed to stay there for a fortnight.
We packed our luggage and reached the platform. The platform was over-crowded. Coolies were moving up and down carrying the luggage. The hawkers were making a noise by crying aloud in praise of their wares.
We put our luggage on the platform and waited. The train steamed hi at about 9 A.M. There was a mad rush for the seats. Some got in while other got down. We got into a second class compartment and made ourselves comfortable as best as we could.
The mad rush melted away after a short time. The train did not move yet. At about 10 A.M., some new bogies were attached to the train. They were for the passengers who had got their seats reserved at Delhi. These new compartments were soon full. At 10.40 the guard blew the whistle and waved6 the green flag. The train left the platform.
Our compartment was a small one. Luckily we had our seats near the window. Therefore, we could breathe in a fresh air. I looked out. It was quite dark. There was a streak of light1 on one side. It was the moon coming out of the western horizon. I could now enjoy the scene outside. Trees and electric poles seemed to be wheeling back.
Now I looked round the compartment. Most of the passengers were dozing on their seats. My brother and sister too were fast a sleep. A fat man nearby was snoring hard. At 3. A.M., the train reached Ambala. Many passengers alighted here. So there was enough accommodation in the compartment now. I too now stretched myself on a seat and was soon fast asleep.
I woke up at 6 A.M. It was already day-break. I could now see the distant mountains. A thrill of joy ran through my body. The train soon streamed in at Kalka. We got down. The small train for Shimla was on the other platform. We got our luggage booked and took our seats in the train.
Now began our journey through the hills. The train passed through several tunnels. The scenery outside was very charming. The train meandered higher and higher till it reached Shimla. My uncle was there at the station. What a pleasant contrast it was at Shimla from the scorching heat of the plains below!